Kill! Kill! Kill!

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LITO MONICO C. LORENZANA

“New killing spree sparks outrage”
–Philippine Daily Inquirer (August 19, 2017)

“Duterte: I personally killed drug suspects”
–Philippine Daily Inquirer, (December 14, 2016)

‘Duterte’s drug list bared, containing 1,000 names of judges, Mayors, etc.’
–CNN Philippines (August17, 2016)

‘Rody threatens to kill judges, shoot human rights officials’
–Philippine Star (August 18, 2017)


AND I take his word for it! He will do what he threatens to do, and so do perhaps the 80 percent of the citizenry (believe so). Several months back, he warned that some mayors in his list of illegal protectors would be eliminated. Mayor Rolando Espinosa, Sr. of Albuera, Leyte was “…shot inside his cell at the Baybay City jail while being served a search warrant” (emphasis mine). Police Supt. Marvin Marcos who led the arresting team is slated for promotion to a higher rank.

Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog Sr., wife Susan and board member Octavio Parojinog, Jr. were killed in a gunfight in the residential compound of the mayor. Daughter Vice Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog was apprehended. The Deegong had them on his list as “narco-politicians operating in Mindanao”.

These are just the high-profile names in the list and frankly not a few people in Albuera, Leyte and Ozamiz City have shed a tear for these alleged “narco-politicians”. The operative word is “alleged” as it has not been proven beyond reasonable doubt that they indeed were what the authorities said they were. On the other hand, it is “widely known” in their respective communities that they are indeed the narco-politicians PRRD has accused them of. And these communities have benefited from the fruits of narcotics through the decades long system of “patronage politics”, and for so long, these patrons have gone scot-free, until now. “The angel of death has descended violently among them,” to paraphrase Casper Erichsen, an obscure author who wrote this in 1904.

But the method employed in their disposal, using the police as instruments is highly questionable and at worst, criminal. Not unless this is investigated by proper authorities will the truth come out. But the chances of the truth coming out is practically nil, when the proper authorities vested by law to investigate are the very people who are “perceived” to be the perpetrators. The truth therefore is that which is divined by these very same people. This catch-22 paradox has been the operating factor in most of these cases and other questionable instances that have produced a reportedly 3,000 to 5,000 dead bodies in the past 14 months. Depending on whose side one believes, the monthly kill-rate is a ghastly 200 at the low end or 350 at the upper end. And none of the culprits have been punished in the courts of law. We have had several congressional hearings but these simply turn out to be the setting for grandstanding senators and congressmen out not to seek for the truth but the accumulate political points for future elections. The proper venue should have been the courts of law where the rules of evidence are strictly followed. But first, culprits need to be apprehended, investigated and properly charged in the courts. This is the civilized way in our republican democratic state. And this is the crux of this article.

The state by right has the “monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force” (Max Weber, political scientist). This has been the core concept of a democratic state’s right to use, threaten, or authorize physical force on its citizens; along with it is the concept of a “police force” and the concomitant system of justice within the defined territory of that state. A state cannot exist without this exclusive “monopoly of violence”.

The police, the military and the armed forces are the main instruments of a state that Weber defines as “that human community that successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence within a given territory”.

Furthermore, Weber posits that this must go through a “process of legitimation”. This means that this power and authority is vested in a person, the President, by virtue of the people, the ultimate source and owner of this power, bestowing upon him the authority to exercise this power.

On the other hand, the concept of defense of self and property, central to the idea of natural law (right to life) precedes and preexists that of the concept of the State. Natural law therefore trumps the “monopoly of the state on the use of violence”. In essence, there is no inherent right to wield power. True, but in contemporary political thought, the concept although universal, is constrained within the boundary of our Constitution.

President DU30 by these precepts executes through the police and armed forces the “monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force”. He holds therefore the ultimate responsibility for wielding this tremendous power intended for the good of society.

His statements of late on the elimination of illegal drugs; the decapitation of drug lords; the threats to the lives of the members of institutions that disagree with his pronounced public policies; the condonation of the questionable and seemingly criminal actions of the police forces; the summary execution of a teen-ager; the encouragement to kill the miscreants disregarding “due process”—this smacks of impunity and its legitimacy needs to be examined in the light of Weber’s thesis.

I will suspend judgment on these presidential acts for now, but Mr. President, there have been suggestions in social media from your supporters, and I count myself among them, to consider applying similar bold methods to those despicable elected and appointed government bureaucrats who have betrayed the public’s trust; and not only to the nameless, faceless poor and “dregs of society”.

Foremost are the facilitators of the illegal drugs that passed easily through customs inspection. Why not make a “sample” of these people and their protectors in high places who have placed their “recommendees” in positions in the Bureau of Customs – one you described as the “most corrupt” in government?

How about the corrupt BIR examiners who suck the life-blood of the tax paying middle-class and ordinary workers while being complicit with the tax evaders among the country’s oligarchy?

And how about those pedophiles preying upon the innocent children in their care but getting away with crimes protected by their priestly habit and sheltered by the hierarchy of the Holy Mother Church?

And while we’re at it, how about those in the rarified air of the Senate and Congress. I’m sure there are one two up there that have put their dirty sticky fingers in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam and their bogus foundations. Surely their transgressions are far heavier than that which Kian Loyd delos Santos died for.

Social media is wondering, can’t you initiate a “Tok-Hang” among these people and make an example of them too?

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